Approved Conditioner (AC)

CSI is accredited by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to deliver the Approved Conditioner (AC) program. CFIA registers ACs based on a recommendation from CSI following a successful accreditation audit.  Approved conditioners, operating under their quality management systems, are accredited to condition (e.g. clean, treat, mix, blend, etc.), sample and grade pedigreed seed and label it with a Canada pedigreed grade name.  Detailed records and seed samples must be kept to ensure that all of the requirements of the Seeds Regulations have been satisfied. Every AC operating as a unique location must be individually registered with CFIA and must be managed by a Licensed Operator.

Click here for the Application Form for CSI Seed Establishment Accreditation and CFIA Registration (PDF format

An application fee of $300 + GST/HST is required from all new facilities requesting registration as an Approved Conditioner..

There are three main requirements to becoming registered as an Approved Conditioner: a) evaluation of personnel (i.e. operators and graders): b) drafting a quality manual and initial document review by a CSI auditor; and c) on-site audit.

1. Evaluation of Personnel

In order for CSI to recommend any facility for CFIA registration, an individual on staff must be a licensed operator. An individual at the establishment must successfully complete the CSI AC Operator/Grader Theory Evaluation (Parts A and B). The evaluation is available in our secure document library. Please contact the CSI office to obtain a username and password.

If the establishment applying for registration as an Approved Conditioner also intends to sell seed in bulk as a registered Bulk Storage Facility, the AC operator license is applicable to both scopes.

If the establishment applying for registration as an AC intends to apply a Canada pedigreed grade name to seed, the establishment must identify an accredited grader as the person responsible for conducting all grading activities.  This may be an individual employed by the establishment, an accredited grader at another establishment or at an accredited laboratory, or an independent grader.

To become an accredited grader, an individual must complete the CSI AC Operator/Grader Theory Evaluation (Parts B and C) and a practical evaluation administered by CFIA.  Please contact CSI for more information.

2. Quality Manual and Initial Review by a CSI Auditor

Your quality manual must be written to reflect the current practices and activities of your facility, including handling, sampling, grading, labelling and storage of pedigreed seed, and must address all of the elements of the CSI Seed Facility Standard (RSE-STAN 4.0.0). The standard is available in CSI’s secure document library.

When drafting your quality manual, you may use the template provided by CSI. The template addresses all of the elements as described in the standard; you are still required to customize the template to ensure it reflects your specific seed conditioning and handling procedures. The quality manual template is also available in the CSI secure document library.

Once your quality manual is complete, you must select a CSI accredited auditor from the current CSI auditor list.

The auditor will conduct a document review of your quality manual and any associated procedures or forms that you have identified as part of your quality system.  The auditor may ask you to revise your quality manual if there are areas that require more detail. Once the auditor has accepted your quality manual as meeting the CSI Seed Facility Standard, the auditor will make an initial recommendation to CSI that your facility be registered by CFIA. An on-site audit must take place within three months of receiving your CFIA registration number in order to complete the process, once you have conditioned, graded and labeled your first lots of pedigreed seed with a Canada pedigreed grade name. You will receive an accreditation certificate from CSI.  CSI will inform you once CFIA issues your registration number, and CFIA will send you a registration certificate.

3. On-Site Audit

An on-site audit must take place within six months of receiving your registration number from CFIA,  to ensure that the practices described in your manual are being implemented at your facility. The auditor you choose to review your manual will schedule a visit at a mutually convenient time.

Once the on-site audit is complete, the auditor will issue any non-conformances as required to address deficiencies, write an audit report, and submit a final recommendation to CSI.

After initial accreditation is granted, you are required to have an audit every two years. You will be notified by CSI in January of the year in which your facility is due for an audit. After successful completion of two full audits, you may be eligible for the Increased Interval Program.

If you wish to discuss any issues regarding your Seeds Canada RSE accreditation, please feel free to contact either your auditor, the Seeds Canada head office or Jennifer Scott (